Who’s involved in the Trump impeachment inquiry

The House’s impeachment inquiry into President Trump has sought testimony and documents from dozens of witnesses. Some of them are under scrutiny for pursuing foreign policy in Ukraine intended to benefit the president, while others are high-level administration aides who have been called to testify about what they witnessed and their concerns.

[What’s next in the impeachment inquiry]

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the inquiry after a whistleblower detailed concerns that Trump, in a phone call, pressed the new Ukrainian president to investigate former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

The witnesses

These are the people who have been asked to produce documents or testimony as part of the impeachment inquiry.

Participants in Ukrainian pressure campaign

Mick Mulvaney organized a May meeting to sideline career government officials and put Energy Secretary Rick Perry, European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland and special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker in charge of U.S. policy in the former Soviet country, according to George P. Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of State for that region.

Text messages made public show how officials coordinated their efforts to get Ukraine’s president to open probes by leveraging a White House visit and Trump phone call. At Trump’s direct request, military aid was also withheld.

Gordon Sondland

Gordon Sondland

U.S. ambassador to the European Union

Involvement: Sondland testified that Trump urged him to work with Giuliani on matters related to Ukraine. In updated testimony, Sondland said he indicated to a top Ukrainian official that the country would most likely need to publicly announce investigations to access military aid. Read more

Background: Businessman and major donor to Trump's 2016 campaign, Sondland was named ambassador to the E.U. in July 2018.

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Kurt Volker

Kurt Volker

Former special envoy to Ukraine

Involvement: Volker worked with Giuliani, the White House and Ukrainian officials to arrange the July 25 phone call, and a potential White House visit, while pushing for investigations into Trump's political enemies. Later, Volker would release revealing text messages of the exchanges. Read more

Background: Longtime civil servant, Volker served as U.S. ambassador to NATO from July 2008 to May 2009. Most recently, Volker was executive director of a think tank and served in a volunteer capacity as special envoy to Ukraine before resigning from both positions in October and September, respectively.

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Rick Perry

Rick Perry

Secretary of Energy

Involvement: Perry set up the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and allegedly helped lead Ukrainian policy. Read more

Background: Served as the governor of Texas from 2000 to 2015. In March 2017, he was appointed the secretary of energy. He plans to resign by the end of the year.

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Mick Mulvaney

Mick Mulvaney

Director of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and acting White House chief of staff

Involvement: Organized May meeting to allegedly move Ukraine policy out of traditional channels. A month later, Mulanvey was directed by Trump to withhold $400 million in military aid to Ukraine. He has been asked to produce documents related to his role as acting White House chief of staff. Read more

Background: Previously a Republican member of the House, Mulvaney has been director of the OMB since February 2017. He served as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from November 2017 to December 2018. In January 2019. he assumed the role of acting White House chief of staff.

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John Eisenberg

John Eisenberg

National Security Council (NSC) legal adviser

Involvement: Eisenberg heard concerns from multiple NSC members regarding Ukraine, including Fiona Hill and Alexander S. Vindman. After Vindman raised concerns over the July 25 phone call to him, Eisenberg moved the call transcript to a highly classified server to restrict access.

Background: Eisenberg has served as deputy assistant to the president, NSC legal adviser, and deputy counsel to the president for national security affairs since March 2017. Previously, he worked in the private sector and at the Justice Department.

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State and national security aides who heard or raised concerns

Longtime government officials in the State Department and National Security Council have been called to testify or produce documents. These officials brought up or dealt with concerns about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. Two have recently resigned, and Marie Yovanovitch, a 33-year veteran of State, was abruptly removed in the spring as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

George P. Kent

George P. Kent

Deputy assistant secretary of state responsible for Ukraine

Involvement: Alleges that he and other career officials were sidelined after a May meeting organized by Mulvaney put Volker, Sondland and Perry in charge of Ukraine policy. Read more

Background: In more than 25 years in the Foreign Service, Kent has been the deputy chief of mission in Kyiv and leader of anti-corruption campaign in Europe. He currently oversees policy for several countries including Ukraine.

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Marie “Masha” Yovanovitch

Marie “Masha” Yovanovitch

Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine

Involvement: Ambassadorship was abruptly terminated in May, allegedly after direct pressure from Trump and months of complaints from Giuliani. Read more

Background: A member of the Foreign Service since 1986, Yovanovitch has served as ambassador to Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine.

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Michael McKinley

Michael McKinley

Former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Involvement: Resigned in October over mistreatment of career U.S. diplomats, particularly Yovanovitch, and pressure placed on Ukraine to investigate Trump's political rivals. Read more

Background: A State Dept. senior officer who has held a range of diplomatic posts, including ambassador to Afghanistan, Colombia, Peru and Brazil. Recruited by Pompeo last year as a policy adviser and a conduit between his office and the career service.

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Philip Reeker

Philip Reeker

Acting assistant secretary of European and Eurasian affairs

Involvement: Expressed concerns to top State Dept. officials over a smear campaign against former Ukrainian ambassador Yovanovitch and pushed for the department to publicly support her. Read more

Background: A career foreign service officer, Reeker has served as ambassador to Macedonia and U.S. counsel general in Milan.

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William “Bill” Taylor

William “Bill” Taylor

Acting ambassador to Ukraine

Involvement: Wrote in text messages with the U.S. ambassador to the E.U. that “it’s crazy” to withhold military aid as leverage. Later testified that military aid and a White House invitation for President Zelensky were conditional on Ukrainian investigations into the Bidens and 2016 election interference. Read more

Background: Taylor is a retired former ambassador to Ukraine and foreign policy elder statesman. He is currently acting ambassador to Ukraine, but took the role on as a temporary assignment and is expected to return to his senior position at the U.S. Institute for Peace sometime next year.

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Fiona Hill

Fiona Hill

Former senior official for Russia and Europe on the National Security Council (NSC)

Involvement: Expressed concerns to NSC lawyer John Eisenberg about Ukraine shadow policy carried out by Giuliani, Sondland and Volker. Read more

Background: Hill joined the NSC in 2017 as a senior director for Europe and Russia and an interagency liaison. She left the job in August. Prior to the NSC, Hill served on the National Intelligence Council from 2006 to 2009 and then worked at The Brookings Institution for over a decade.

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Timothy Morrison

Timothy Morrison

Former senior official for Russia and Europe on the National Security Council (NSC)

Involvement: Morrison corroborated earlier testimony by acting ambassador Taylor. Morrison had alerted Taylor to a push by Trump and his deputies to withhold both security aid and a White House visit for the Ukrainian president until Ukraine agreed to investigate the Bidens and interference in the 2016 presidential election Read more

Background: Morrison served as policy director on the House Armed Services Committee, along with other Congressional positions, before joining the NSC in July 2018 and taking over Fiona Hill's former position. He resigned in October 2019.

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Alexander S. Vindman

Alexander S. Vindman

National Security Council (NSC) director for European affairs

Involvement: Vindman attended a meeting between U.S. and Ukrainian government officials where Sondland pushed for Ukraine to investigate the 2016 election and the Biden family in exchange for a meeting with President Trump. He also listened in on the July 25 phone call between Presidents Trump and Zelensky. He reported concerns regarding the meeting and phone call to the NSC's lead counsel. Vindman testified that the transcript of the phone call released by the White House was incomplete, missing references to Biden. Read more

Background: A member of the U.S. Army for over two decades, Vindman joined the NSC in July 2018. He's specialized in Eurasian policy for over a decade, working in the Russian and Ukrainian embassies. At the age of three he fled the Soviet Union with his family.

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Catherine Croft

Catherine Croft

Foreign Service officer

Involvement: During her time at NSC, lobbyist and former congressman Robert Livingston called Croft multiple times telling her Ambassador Yovanovitch should be fired. She reported the calls to Fiona Hill and George P. Kent. As Volker's adviser, she knew he was in contact with Rudolph W. Giuliani, but not the context of their discussions. Read more

Background: Croft has been a Foreign Service officer for the past nine years and has worked on Ukraine since 2013. She served on the NSC from July 2017 to July 2018. In May 2019 she became former special envoy Volker’s adviser, taking over from Christopher Anderson.

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Christopher Anderson

Christopher Anderson

Foreign Service officer

Involvement: Anderson testified that in a June 13 meeting National Security Advisor John Bolton cautioned that Rudolph W. Giuliani was a key voice to the President on Ukraine and could be an obstacle to White House engagement. Read more

Background: Anderson has served as a Foreign Service officer since 2005 and focused on Ukraine for the last five years. He advised former special envoy Volker from August 2017 to July 2019.

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John Bolton

John Bolton

Former national security adviser

Involvement: Christopher Anderson testified that Bolton considered Giuliani, and his influence with Trump, an obstacle to Ukraine policy. Questions are expected to focus on his frustration with Trump’s allies who pressed Ukraine for investigations into the 2016 election and the Biden family.

Background: Bolton served various roles in the Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations, including ambassador to the United Nations. He was President Trump's national security adviser from April 2018 to September 2019.

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Jennifer Williams

Jennifer Williams

Special advisor to Vice President Pence on European and Russian affairs

Involvement: Williams listened in on the July 25 phone call between Presidents Trump and Zelensky. She also traveled with Pence to Warsaw a month after the call where he stood in for Trump and met with Zelensky.

Background: Williams has been with the State Dept. for over 13 years and has been detailed to Vice President Pence since April.

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Charles Kupperman

Charles Kupperman

Former deputy national security adviser

Involvement: Kupperman listened in on the July 25 phone call between Presidents Trump and Zelensky.

Background: Served various roles in the Reagan administration before spending decades in the national security industry. Kupperman joined the NSC in 2018 and served as deputy to national security adviser John Bolton from Jan. to Sept. 2019. He departed shortly after Bolton resigned.

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Suriya Jayanti

Suriya Jayanti

Foreign Service officer

Involvement: Focused on the energy industry, Jayanti heard complaints from an American businessman of efforts to oust ambassador Yovanovitch and attempts by Perry to influence the board of Ukraine's state-owned petroleum company. Read more

Background: Jayanti has been a Foreign Service officer since 2012.

Michael Ellis

Michael Ellis

National Security Council (NSC) deputy legal adviser

Involvement: As deputy legal adviser, Ellis may have handled concerns from NSC members including Fiona Hill and Alexander S. Vindman over Ukrainian policy.

Background: Michael Ellis has served as special assistant to the president, senior associate counsel to the president, and deputy NSC legal advisor since March 2017. Previously, he worked for the House of Representatives and the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives.

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David Holmes

David Holmes

Counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine

Involvement: Holmes allegedly overheard Sondland's phone conversation with President Trump about the investigations and later discussed Trump's Ukrainian strategy with Sondland.

Handled military aid

Trump directed nearly $400 million in military aid to be withheld from Ukraine weeks before his July 25 call with Zelensky. Officials from the Office of Management and Budget and the Defense Department believed to have knowledge of that process have been called to testify.

Kathryn Wheelbarger

Kathryn Wheelbarger

Acting assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs

Involvement: Expected to testify about military aid withheld from Ukraine.

Background: Wheelbarger served as policy director and counsel on the Senate Armed Services Committee from 2011 to 2017 before joining the Defense Dept.

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Laura Cooper

Laura Cooper

Deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia

Involvement: Cooper is involved in overseeing military aid to Ukraine, including much of the nearly $400 million withheld from the country.

Background: Cooper has worked in the Pentagon since 2001 and currently oversees Ukraine policy.

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Russell Vought

Russell Vought

Deputy director of OMB

Involvement: Approved withholding $400 million in congressionally approved military aid for Ukraine. Read more

Background: Before joining the OMB, Vought served as vice president of a conservative policy advocacy group.

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Michael Duffey

Michael Duffey

Associate director of national security programs at OMB

Involvement: Allegedly involved in approving orders to hold back nearly $400 million in congressionally approved military aid for Ukraine. Read more

Background: Former leader of the Wisconsin Republican Party, Duffey had also worked at the Pentagon before joining the OMB.

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Mark Sandy

Mark Sandy

OMB associate director of national security

Involvement: Expected to testify about military aid withheld from Ukraine.

Background: Sandy was briefly the acting director of OMB in 2017.

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Giuliani and his associates

Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani worked with both Ukrainian and U.S. government officials to encourage Ukrainian investigations of 2016 election interference and the Biden family. Associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman allegedly assisted him. Both were arrested on Oct. 10 on charges, unrelated to the impeachment inquiry, of scheming to funnel foreign money to U.S. politicians while trying to influence U.S.-Ukraine relations.

Igor Fruman

Igor Fruman

Businessman

Involvement: Assisted Giuliani in investigating Biden and arrested on Oct. 10 alongside Parnas as part of a separate investigation. Read more

Background: An émigré from the former Soviet Union, Fruman partnered with Parnas in a Florida enterprise trying to get into the natural gas business in Ukraine.

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Lev Parnas

Lev Parnas

Businessman

Involvement: Assisted Giuliani in investigating Biden and arrested on Oct. 10 alongside Fruman as part of a separate investigation. Read more

Background: Born in Ukraine when it was part of the Soviet Union, Parnas partnered with Fruman in a Florida enterprise trying to get into the natural gas business in Ukraine.

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Rudolph W. Giuliani

Rudolph W. Giuliani

Trump’s personal attorney

Involvement: Met multiple times with Ukrainian officials urging them to investigate claims of 2016 election interference and alleged wrongdoings by the Biden family. Giuliani also allegedly encouraged Trump to recall ambassador Yovanovitch from Ukraine.

Background: Former mayor of New York, Giuliani has served as an informal adviser to Trump and currently serves as his personal attorney. Giuliani is currently under a separate investigation for violating lobbying laws related to his activities in Ukraine.

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Semyon “Sam” Kislin

Semyon “Sam” Kislin

Businessman

Involvement: Longtime associate of Giuliani who contributed to his mayoral campaigns

Background: Born in Ukraine when it was part of the Soviet Union, Kislin is a New York businessman.

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Evaluated whistleblower complaint

The whistleblower complaint from an anonymous intelligence official that sparked the impeachment inquiry took weeks to get into the hands of Congress. Members of the intelligence community responsible for reviewing the complaint testified about the complaint and how it was processed.

Joseph Maguire

Joseph Maguire

Acting director of national intelligence

Involvement: Withheld the whistleblower complaint from Congress for weeks after a request and subpoena. Read more

Background: Served in the military for 36 years. After a few years in private business, became the director of the National Counterterrorism Center in December 2018. He was made acting director of national intelligence in August 2019.

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Michael Atkinson

Michael Atkinson

Inspector general of the intelligence community

Involvement: First reviewed the whistleblower complaint, finding it urgent and credible, and forwarded to Maguire. Later alerted Congress to its existence. Read more

Background: Worked for the Justice Dept .for 15 years before becoming inspector general of the intelligence community in May 2018.

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Other key figures

Testimony and documents were requested from several other key figures whose roles in Trump’s dealings with Ukraine are not yet clear.

Mike Pence

Mike Pence

Vice president of the United States

Involvement: Vice President Pence did not attend Zelensky's inauguration in Ukraine in May but met with him in Poland in June, and they spoke by phone in September.

Background: Previously was a Republican member of the House and governor of Indiana.

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Mike Pompeo

Mike Pompeo

Secretary of State

Involvement: Has defended State Dept. pressure on Ukraine to pursue investigations into Trump's political rivals and attempted to block State Dept. officials from testifying or handing over documents. Pompeo was also on the July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky.

Background: Formerly a Republican member of the House and director of the CIA, Pompeo became secretary of state in April 2018.

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T. Ulrich Brechbuhl

T. Ulrich Brechbuhl

State Dept. counselor

Involvement: A close confidant of Pompeo who was named in the whistleblower complaint as listening in on the July 25 call. Brechbuhl also received Kent's concerns about a disinformation campaign against Yovanovitch.

Background: A West Point graduate, Brechbuhl worked in private business before becoming counselor at the State Dept.

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Robert Blair

Robert Blair

Senior adviser to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney

Involvement: Blair listened in on the July 25 phone call between Presidents Trump and Zelensky. He's expected to testify about the White House's Ukrainian policy.

Background: Blair has worked for the government for nearly two decades, including roles in the State Dept. and House of Representatives. Before joining the White House in January, Blair was associate director for national security programs at OMB.

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Brian McCormack

Brian McCormack

Director of natural resources, energy and science at OMB

Background: McCormack served as energy secretary Rick Perry's chief of staff from March 2017 to September 2019 before joining OMB. He previously worked in the White House under the Bush administration.

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Wells Griffith

Wells Griffith

Energy adviser at the National Security Council

Background: Griffith worked for the Republican National Committee and as a strategist on Donald Trump and Scott Walker's presidential campaigns. He worked in the Energy Dept. for over a year prior to joining the White House in April 2018.

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David Hale

David Hale

Under secretary for political affairs at State Dept.

Involvement: Hale heard concerns from State Dept. staffer Reeker of a smear campaign against former Ukrainian ambassador Yovanovitch. Reeker pushed Hale for a public statement from the State Dept. supporting Yovanovitch. Hale's staff later communicated to Reeker that there would be no statement.

Background: Hale has served in the foreign service for 35 years, including roles as ambassador to Pakistan, Lebanon and Jordan.

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House Democrats

A handful of House Democrats and lawyers play a central role in the impeachment inquiry.

Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the House of Representatives

Involvement: Controls whether impeachment goes to a vote in the House

Adam B. Schiff

Adam B. Schiff

Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee

Involvement: Leading the inquiry into Trump's dealing with Ukraine.

Carolyn B. Maloney

Carolyn B. Maloney

Acting chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform

Involvement: Requests testimony and documents, issues subpoenas, and participates in closed-door depositions alongside the House committees on Intelligence and Foreign Affairs.

Background: Maloney became acting chair after the death of Elijah E. Cummings.

Eliot L. Engel

Eliot L. Engel

Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Involvement: Requests testimony and documents, issues subpoenas, and participates in closed-door depositions alongside the House committees on Intelligence and Oversight and Reform.

Jerrold Nadler

Jerrold Nadler

Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee

Involvement: Decides whether there are grounds for impeachment and, if so, draws up articles of impeachment and present them to the full House.

Daniel S. Goldman

Daniel S. Goldman

Democrat general counsel for the House Oversight and Reform Committee

Involvement: As the lead impeachment hearing lawyer, Goldman will ask witnesses questions during public hearings and be tasked with convincing the public on impeachment. Read more

Background: Goldman Goldman was an assistant U.S. attorney in Manhattan for a decade before becoming a television legal analyst in 2017. He was hired by Rep. Adam Schiff as general counsel for the House Oversight Committee in March.

Rudolph W. Giuliani

Rudolph W. Giuliani

Trump’s personal attorney

Involvement: Met multiple times with Ukrainian officials urging them to investigate claims of 2016 election interference and alleged wrongdoings by the Biden family. Giuliani also allegedly encouraged Trump to recall ambassador Yovanovitch from Ukraine.

Background: Former mayor of New York, Giuliani has served as an informal adviser to Trump and currently serves as his personal attorney. Giuliani is currently under a separate investigation for violating lobbying laws related to his activities in Ukraine.

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Jay Sekulow

Jay Sekulow

Trump personal attorney

Involvement: Has advocated for a more absolutist view of executive power. "The Constitution has a supremacy clause for a reason." Read more

Background: Media personality and chief counsel for American Center for Law & Justice, founded by evangelical minister Pat Robertson.

Pat Cipollone

Pat Cipollone

White House counsel

Involvement: Served notice to House Democrats that the White House will not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry. Read more

Background: Worked in the private sector with clients including Trump before joining White House Counsel in October 2018.

Stephen R. Castor

Stephen R. Castor

Republican general counsel for the House Oversight and Reform Committee

Involvement: As the lead impeachment hearing lawyer for Republicans, Caster will ask witnesses questions during public hearings and be tasked with convincing the public against impeachment. Read more

Background: Castor has been Republican counsel for the House Oversight and Reform Committee since 2005. He helped lead investigations into President Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina, as well as the Benghazi attacks and IRS targeting during the Obama years. Prior to joining the government, he was a commercial litigator.

Kevin Schaul

Kevin Schaul is a senior graphics editor for The Washington Post. He covers national politics and public policy using data and visuals.

Kate Rabinowitz

Kate Rabinowitz is a graphics reporter at The Washington Post. She previously worked at Propublica. She joined The Post in 2018.

Harry Stevens, Dan Keating and Kevin Uhrmacher contributed to this report.

About this story

Event and administration reaction information comes from House committee and White House documents and news reports.

Originally published Oct. 21, 2019.

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